Running the Feedback-Feedforward Loop of Life

Rehersal for an introduction

My name is António Almeida I like coding and doing creative — how's that for a loaded word ;) — stuff in general.

Introductions are brittle things. They are best viewed from afar. Putting them under the microscope makes for an awkward experience, both for the person introducing himself or for the person hearing or reading it. So indulge me a little and call your suspension of disbelief while I take the stage to address you.

I'm very much interested on the web and everything that revolves around it. Which translates in to a lot of stuff. By web I mean all technologies that enable it. From the OS to the application. I consider that mobile makes part of the web, understood as a way of providing streams that we can get immersed in. The famous Robert Heinlein quote:

Specialization is for insects.

applies to the web. Therefore having a cross sectional knowledge of the web stack is tantamount to grokking it. To use another Heinleinism.

Drupal is my choice for Content Management Systems, or in the case of Drupal, framework is more appropriate. Before you jump to conclusions I don't think PHP is a "great" language. But I find it interesting in a low tech sort of way, since it's capable of achieving so much, while hardly being the greatest language design under the Sun. When I listen to language zealots (mostly Ruby wannabe ninjas) trashing PHP I recall what the great Nikolaus Harnoncourt says about playing early music on modern instruments:

It's more important what you have in your head as a performer of Early Music than the instrument that you play.

Do you grok the manifold implications of this sentence in the programming world?

Nginx is a modern high performance web server. It's now sort of an obsession for me. I no longer use Apache and even never ever touched IIS. I maintain my Nginx configs here, namely the one for running Drupal with Nginx.

I've been using emacs since I couldn't grok vi on a good old DECstation 5100 running Ultrix. I came to Unix from VMS and specially its great editor EDT. vi was a big jump backward. Today I use mostly vi when I'm editing config files as root. For the rest, I'm a man of simple tastes: I use emacs.

I mantain a github fork of the "official" Magit repo on github. This fork differs from the original repo only in the extent that a debian build setup for creating the package is incorporated. Basically it's a debianization of the official version. The official debian version available on unstable (sid) lags considerably from the current development version.

I'm a big Lisp fan. I happen to think it's the greatest language ever invented. Lisp is a huge advantage for developing new projects since it allows you to quickly hack something together in order to try a concept. I use it a lot when developing sites and products in Drupal. For instance: I use clsql for data migration tasks. This page was built in Lisp and then compiled to HTML using a fork of LML2 I mantain here.

I'm now a interested in Lua: a language with a clear Lispy heritage. Even if the syntax is rather different. My interest was stoked by the powerful Embedded Lua Module for Nginx. And advanced features like JIT compilation, prototypical inheritance and more.

Here is the list of all my projects on github:

I mantain a debian repository with some of the stuff I host here.

Outside of coding I'm obsessed with Late medieval Italian music and cinema.